Sarah Pudifin-Jones has a rare appreciation for the value of long-term goals and the determination needed to achieve them. It was at the age of nine that she made the seemingly improbable resolution that she wanted to study at the University of Cambridge.
Having set this goal she spent the next 15 years working towards it and was rewarded with a scholarship in 2008, which she then put to use obtaining a master’s degree in law and an MPhil in criminology from Cambridge.
Her discipline and determination can also be seen in her prowess on the violin and her four-year stint as concert master of the National Youth Orchestra.
Today, at 29, she holds the distinction of being one of the youngest advocates practicing in the field of Constitutional and administrative law in South Africa, which she does at the Durban Bar, and is an Honorary Research Fellow in the law department at the University of KwaZulu-Natal.
The persistence she showed at an early age is a quality that stands her in good stead in a role that requires a steadfast belief in the role the Constitution plays in protecting the rights of all South Africans.
This conviction was entrenched when she clerked at the Constitutional Court for Justice Albie Sachs before setting off for Cambridge in 2008.
She says this shaped her views on law in South Africa and inspired her to work towards upholding and protecting the “precious and hard-earned Constitution”.
More importantly, Pudifin-Jones views the Constitution as a valuable tool that can be used for justice and fairness. This passion is evident in the types of cases she has fought so far on issues relating to the Bill of Rights, access to justice, and political and economic battles, particularly in relation to women and children.
She sums up her life philosophy as taking the time to figure out what you want from life and working really hard to achieve it. — Johann Barnard